Things That Make Me Happy

I just watched ‘Silver Linings Playbook’. I saw this movie in the listings weeks ago and shortlisted it at the back of my mind. Way back when, I lived in a tiny, imperfect but complete world of my own, I’d strive through the week in the hope of weekends. On Saturdays I’d sleep in and then occasionally go out in the evening. And on Sunday mornings, I’d get up early to catch a morning show movie at reduced prices and in a theatre with maybe 4 other people. I saw a lot of movies that way. Bollywood blockbusters, obscure English movies whose names I barely remember. And in the comforting cocoon of a dark theatre with no known person sitting next to me, I lived.

Those days are gone now that other people have discovered cutprice rates and multiplexes have discovered those people and upped prices. But I watch the movie listings anyway for movies that look like they won’t see too many crowds. Partly to avoid the crowds and partly because – sue me for sounding stupid – I think it’s a healthier outlet for my Florence Nightingale complex, watching movies that most other people ignore. I thought ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ would be one of them and indeed, in those days when it caught my eye, the movie halls seemed largely empty.

Then it had to go and turn up at the Oscars so of course the whole world has discovered it, multiplexes show it only at the most crowded, expensive times and overbright mobilephone flashing, loud ‘I’m here to be seen’ types comprise the audience. But it’s my fault for having waited, I guess.

It was a nice movie. And having enjoyed it even with watching it at exorbitant prices on a Sunday evening in a popular multiplex made me realize something that I keep forgetting – to do what makes me happy. It’s so simple. I keep letting myself get lost in duty and responsibility and appearances and pride and the bigger things. But it really takes so little to make me happy and somehow, sinking in the abyss of the kind that I have been in lately, I never seem to remember that.

It makes me happy to watch movies that make me feel good. About people ending up happy or inspired or rewarded.

It makes me happy to have a nice meal at a restaurant or cafe where the staff isn’t rude or pushy or keeps staring at me, alone.

It makes me happy to read a book sitting at a cafe or a restaurant. I read a few lines, then I stop and look around and what nobody realizes is that while I’m monitoring the world around me, I’m also savouring what I just read. Then I repeat. And over and over again. This really makes me happy.

I’m not a foodie but there are some things that when they taste and feel exactly the way I want them to, make me very, very happy. This is aloo bhujia mixed into Chitale dahi the way only he makes it. And dark Italian hot chocolate at Bru World Cafe. And my homemade pesto on vegetable bread. And the drippy dregs at the end of the following meal: sambhar poured into a little well made in the middle of a mound of curd rice. Yes, yes, very happy.

It makes me happy to run my fingers through my hair right after I’ve washed it and it’s dry. Did I ever tell you about my hair? It’s the best part of my body. I’m unabashedly vain about it. It’s soft, silky, straight, voluminous and luxuriant to touch. It looks good, smells good (yes, I keep it that way) and makes me feel like a monarch who needs only a mane, not a crown.

It makes me happy when I find I find myself falling in love with a book that I’m in the middle of. So happy, so much joy.

I did every single one of these things today and it was a good day. Oh, happy day!

There is much that makes me happy. So I’m writing it all down, in preparation of the next time I forget. I think I’m going to be okay.

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